Via the Daily News –
Alex Rodriguez, already embroiled in baseball’s latest doping scandal, may face a legal fastball from the relative he says persuaded him to use steroids.
Yuri Sucart, the cousin and longtime go-fer who the Yankee superstar claimed provided him with performance-enhancing drugs, has consulted with his Miami attorney about filing a lawsuit against Rodriguez.
“I know there’s a lot of friction. I know that (Sucart’s) name got caught in the crossfire of all the allegations involving all the performance-enhancing drugs,” attorney John Ruiz, who declined to discuss the basis for the lawsuit, told the Daily News. “I’ve been consulted about it. But obviously because there’s an attorney/client relationship, I can’t really divulge details.”
The possibility that A-Rod and Cousin Yuri might square off in court was first reported by TheMLBNation.com, a baseball web site. The site reported that Sucart will seek $5 million in damages and that Rodriguez has turned down a settlement proposal.
A spokesman for Rodriguez declined comment.
Ruiz told The News on Monday that Sucart has proprietary information about Rodriguez. “I know he was working for (A-Rod) for quite some time,” Ruiz said. “There is information that he has — I guess, only he knows. The public doesn’t know. I’m not at liberty to discuss it as of this point in time.”
The names of Rodriguez and Sucart have surfaced in the recent Major League Baseball and DEA investigation into whether the Yankees third baseman and his cousin obtained performance-enhancing drugs from a Coral Gables anti-aging clinic operated by Anthony Bosch.
Ruiz said Sucart has not consulted him about the Bosch matter. Several players, including A-Rod, Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon and Ryan Braun, have been linked to Bosch and his clinic, Biogenesis.
Sports Illustrated reported in February 2009 that Rodriguez had tested positive for anabolic steroids during the 2003 season, when MLB and its Players Association conducted survey testing to determine the extent of banned drug use in the sport. When Rodriguez finally met with reporters at the Yankees’ Tampa spring training facility, he dragged his “cousin Yuri” into the controversy.
Rodriguez claimed Sucart encouraged him to take banned drugs and helped administer them. After Rodriguez pinned part of the responsibility for his steroid use on Sucart, an anonymous go-fer who had spent the previous 15 years picking up dry cleaning, making dinner reservations and chauffeuring his cousin, the Yankees banned Sucart from the team’s chartered flights, buses and facilities.
MLB launched an investigation after The News reported in 2011 that Sucart had been spotted at the Yankees’ team hotel in San Francisco and had accompanied Rodriguez during road trips in 2010 and 2011. MLB officials reiterated that Sucart was not welcome at Yankee facilities, including non-public areas, clubhouses, team charters and buses.
Sucart signaled his unhappiness with his cousin last year, when he sold a replica of the 2009 World Series ring Rodriguez had given him as a member of the Yankees’ last championship team to a South Florida collector for an undisclosed price. A spokesman for A-Rod said the third baseman purchased several copies of the ring and distributed them to friends and relatives.
The collector consigned the ring to Goldin Auctions, which placed it in its current sale. Bidding on the ring has topped $33,000; the bidding ends on April 5.
Ruiz has represented Sucart in the past, during foreclosure proceedings on Miami property that Sucart was involved with four years ago. Ruiz said that he is still Sucart’s attorney, and that any legal action would center around “internal disputes” between Sucart and Rodriguez. Ruiz added that it would not be a defamation suit.
“I’m not sure that I would represent (Sucart) if that’s the course of action he would take. That’s where we are.”
Ruiz said “a lot of friction” still exists between the two men.
Howie Spira, Brian McNamee…it always happens.